HIV Testing Trends: Southeastern Pennsylvania, 2002-2010

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There are limited data on HIV testing trends after 2006 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) introduced opt-out HIV testing with the aims of identifying HIV-infected persons early and linking them to care. We used data from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey between 2002 and 2010 to evaluate HIV testing over time. 50,698 adult (≥ 18 years) survey respondents were included. HIV testing increased after the CDC recommendations: 42.1% of survey respondents received testing at least once in 2002 versus 51.4% in 2010, p < 0.001. Testing trends increased among all demographic groups, but existing differences in testing before 2006 persisted after that year as follows: younger patients, racial/ethnic minorities, patients on Medicaid were all more likely to get tested than their counterparts. Blacks and patients seeking care in community health centers had the fastest rise in HIV testing. The probability of HIV testing in Blacks was 0.56 (95% CI 0.54-0.60) in 2002 and increased to 0.73 (0.70-0.76) by 2010. Patients seeking care in community health centers had a probability of HIV testing of 0.57 (0.47-0.66) in 2002, which increased to 0.69 (0.60-0.77) by 2010. In comparison, patients in private clinics had an HIV testing probability of 0.40 (0.36-0.43) in 2002 compared to 0.47 (0.40-0.54) in 2010. HIV testing is increasing, particularly among ethnic minorities and in community health centers. However, testing remains to be improved in that setting and across all clinic types.

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